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Terra Firma gets set for Infinis exit

Terra Firma is considering a £1bn float of landfill gas producer Infinis despite some questioning the viability of public markets for sponsored European companies.

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Terra Firma is considering a £1bn float of landfill gas producer Infinis despite some questioning the viability of public markets for sponsored European companies. 

A report in the Daily Telegraph claims that Guy Hands has met with banks over the possible float ahead of a slew of sales to win back investors' confidence after the private equity firm's failed EMI investment. 

The buyout house, which will need to raise fresh capital after spending the last of its third fund on care provider Four Seasons, recently lost its head of investor relations Kamal Tabet after only 11 months at the firm. 

Infinis is one of Terra Firma's stronger deals and the firm has already covered its cost. It bought WRG for £531m in 2003 and then merged it with Shank's landfill sites, which it took for £227m in 2004. 

In July 2006, Terra Firma sold WRG's waste disposal division to Spanish construction company Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas for £1.4bn. 

Earlier this month Infinis beefed up with three wind farms bought from Broadview Energy, while in April it more than doubled its capacity by taking the Dalswinton, Minsca and Slieve Divena wind farms from Scottish and Southern Energy for £173.6m. 

It is now the second-biggest renewable energy producer in the UK, behind Scottish and Southern Energy, and generates the majority of its energy supply from landfill gas. 

The business makes Ebitda of £100m on turnover of £191.4m and has more than £400m of debt on its books. 

Dutch cable operator Ziggo managed to pull off a closely watched €800m float in March, the biggest in the region for months, that many hoped would usher in yet more listings. 

Private equity-backed theme park operator Merlin Entertainments is also believed to be having another shot at cracking the public markets after it backed out of an IPO in 2010. 

However, there is little appetite for leveraged IPOs in Europe as investors remain wary of Greece's situation and avoid businesses with large debt obligations. 

A corporate financier, who asked not to be quoted, told Real Deals last week that the future of Europe's equity markets are unhopeful and London may end up being the only bourse on the continent. 

The US and Asia quickly recovered from last summer's market shock, pushing many European companies to look abroad for public offerings. 

Mediterranean private equity firm Investindustrial was eyeing up Hong Kong's exchange for Italian high-end motorbike manufacturer Ducati before Audi bought it last month instead. 

CVC Capital Partners is currently preparing motor sport Formula 1 for Singapore's bourse after getting the go-ahead from market officials.